Just another day in the life of 1Malaysia
• Najib seeks ‘engagement with bloggers’
Police avoid ‘engagement’ with blogger RPK
• Najib seeks ‘open democracy’
Police want RPK behind closed-doors
• Najib seeks ‘less polarisation’
Policeman almost at blows with RPK lawyers
While motorists in Malaysia were heaving a sigh of relief over the withdrawal of police speed-trap ambushes, of police hiding behind pillars or in bushes, the same police had a different kind of ambush and a different kind of trap in Bangkok, aimed at Raja Petra Kamarudin of Malaysia Today.
The bait was supposedly an investigation into his statutory declaration of 2008 that an informant had implicated Rosmah Mansor and two army officers in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.
While cat-and-mouse was going on in Bangkok, Rosmah Mansor’s husband Najib Razak was promising “open democracy” and “engagement with bloggers” and calling for “more inclusiveness and less polarisation” in the blogosphere.
If the prime minister was conscious of the ironies that abound in all he does, or in the malignant cancer of Malaysian polity, there was little indication of it in his speech.
The policeman in Bangkok was indeed doing his bit of “engagement with bloggers”, but he wasn’t willing to be open about what he wanted in his engagement with the blogger RPK, he wanted it behind closed-doors and it surely wasn’t for the sake of “open democracy”, but for propping up the regime of Najib Razak.
“Inclusiveness” in Bangkok meant Malaysia’s most well-known blogger being lured into the confines of the Malaysian embassy — sovereign territory, under international law. It’s the same sovereign territory that RPK fled from, to live in exile in Britain, for fear of further political persecution.
Inclusiveness? Some “inclusiveness”.
Though the Bangkok standoff was supposedly over the 2008 statutory declaration, on intervention by RPK’s lawyers, the police turned evasive. It turned out that it was about a report lodged by the Malay rights group Jaringan Melayu Malaysia on April 14 (the same day that Khalid Abu Bakar was named deputy inspector-general of police).
Coincidence? Khalid’s been dominating the front pages and the headlines since his boss the inspector-general was mysteriously taken ill (with exhaustion) on Friday.
He announced that police would no longer hide in the bushes with speed-traps — the kind of populist move politicians make during election campaigns or shortly after coming to power. Khalid was earning kudos for the claimed “openness” and “transparency” that would result.
But the other ambush, in Bangkok, would have earned him much bigger political rewards had it resulted in RPK being brought back to Malaysia. Up to 7pm on Sunday, however, the police had neither RPK nor his statement.
The policeman was in the embassy waiting for RPK to walk in, while RPK and his lawyers were sitting in the open public lobby of their hotel waiting for the policeman.
It was RPK and friends who were sitting openly in a public space waiting to conduct serious business. The policeman was skulking where he felt most comfortable, within the walls of a secure, confined space, out of public view.
Openness? Some openness.
© 2011 uppercaise. All rights reserved